When the news unexpectedly dropped earlier this month, so too did the hearts of Dodgers fans. Clayton Kershaw was heading to the injured list with an elbow issue for the first time in his Hall of Fame career.
As the days passed, the outlook got better. Dave Roberts wasn’t worried and Kershaw was still going through his usual off-day routine. An MRI back in Los Angeles revealed no structural damage in his left elbow/forearm area. And with that, a sigh of relief from Kersh. The long time Dodgers’ ace talked to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register about the injury and what was going through his head leading up to that MRI.
“I really haven’t had many elbow things before. It wasn’t like a one-pitch deal. It’s something that’s been building over time. It was good to get a good bill of health from an MRI, for sure. I wasn’t, I don’t want to say nervous. But I’d never really had any elbow stuff. So it was a little uneasy, I guess.”
With no damage in the elbow, the Dodgers are now opting to take advantage of this time to rest Clayton up for the stretch run and into the postseason. He was on track to make more than 30 starts for the first time since 2015 — yes, that’s six years ago. Instead, he won’t rejoin the LA rotation until August.
“I think that this is something that once it kind of came about,” Dave Roberts said, “it made sense to kind of take the time to cut some of the season off and save some bullets for the rest of the season and throughout the postseason. We feel good about it. I’m not sure exactly when he’s going to start playing catch again, but I feel good about the process.”
Kershaw added that “everyone wants [him] to be back as fast as possible” but conceded that being at his best in October is likely more important for a team that’s looking to win its second straight World Series title.
On the season, the 33-year-old is 9-7 with a 3.39 ERA over 18 starts and 106.1 innings pitched.